Capitals, Ribeiro preparing to part ways

Capitals, Ribeiro preparing to part ways
July 3, 2013, 4:00 pm
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Caps' standing pat in free agency

Any thoughts of the Capitals striking a last-minute deal with Mike Ribeiro probably went out the window on Tuesday night when the Flyers agreed to a five-year deal with Vincent Lecavalier worth $4.5 million a season.

And, apparently, his wife Tamara is not too happy about it.

“Nothing like being uprooted from your home for a year for absolutely no apparent reason,” Tamara Ribeiro tweeted on Tuesday. Her Twitter handle apparently has since been disabled.

Ribeiro, 33, is expected to become an unrestricted free agent at noon on Friday. He reportedly rejected a three-year, $14 million offer from the Caps back in March.

At the conclusion of the season Ribeiro said he did not want to be selfish and would consider the Capitals’ financial needs when negotiating for a new contract. He also said he did not want to uproot his wife and three children after settling in McLean, Va., last summer.

But Rbeiro’s agent, Don Meehan, said he had nothing to report on contract talks with the Caps, and when the Caps began pursuing Lecavalier over the weekend it appeared clear they were looking to fill the No. 2 center hole once occupied by Ribeiro.

Ribeiro and Lecavalier are both 33, and although Lecavalier carries more star power, Ribeiro is coming off a better season, finishing second on the Caps with 49 points in 48 games and leading Washington’s top-ranked power play.

Meanwhile, center Matt Hendricks is preparing to hit the open market as an unrestricted free agent, where he hopes to earn more than $2 million a season.

The Caps enter free agency with about $8.5 million in cap space. A good chunk of that is expected to go to restricted free agents Karl Alzner and Marcus Johansson. Alzner is expected to land a deal worth at least $3 million a season, while Johansson could come close to $2 million a year.

If that happens, the Caps would be working with about $3.5 million in free-agent money. That could be enough to land a player like Danny Briere, a second-line center who has reportedly spoken with eight different teams over the past 48 hours.